By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, June 7, 2023
PresidentMike Pence: Files Presidential Campaign Committee — Mike Pence (R), former vice president, Indiana governor, and US congressman, filed his long-awaited presidential campaign committee Monday with the Federal Election Commission and officially announced his campaign today, in Iowa, on his 64th birthday. Though it is difficult to see a path to victory for him with former President Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis dominating most of the early action, Pence will likely be part of the debates and has performed very well on stage when previously tested.
Also expected to announce their own campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination this week are former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Gov. Chris Sununu: Won’t Run for President — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), saying he understands that a crowded Republican presidential field will renominate former President Donald Trump with 35 percent of the vote, announced Monday in an op-ed column that he will not enter the GOP presidential nomination contest.
Sununu said he believes he can best influence the Republican presidential campaign from the outside in his current position as governor of one of the key early primary states. He made it clear his mission is to deny former President Trump renomination and called on other candidates with no clear path to the nomination to also leave the race.
The governor did not indicate whether he would consider a third-party run for president, or if he will seek a fifth term as governor next year.
No Labels Party: Sen. Joe Manchin Again Sending Signals — In an interview with Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was once again sending signals that he might be open to a third-party run for president on the No Labels Party ticket. Such an option probably isn’t viable, however.
During the interview, Sen. Manchin said, “If Plan A shows that we’re going to the far reaches of both sides, the far left and the far right, and the people don’t want to go to the far left and the far right, they want to be governed from the middle.” He further stated in response to Bream asking if he would run as a third-party candidate, that he is “not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out.”
Regardless of what Sen. Manchin may want to do, it is unlikely he will become the No Labels Party presidential nominee. The NLP won’t meet until April 14-15 to choose a candidate, and candidate filing in West Virginia ends in late January. Therefore, Sen. Manchin will need to make a decision about his future prior to New Labels choosing any potential presidential candidate.
AZ-3: Sen. Kelly Chooses Candidate — Over the weekend Sen. Mark Kelly (D) indicated that his preferred candidate to replace Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I), is former state Senate Minority Leader and ex-Arizona Democratic Party chair Raquel Teran. Four other Democrats are in the race, including Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor, daughter of former US Rep. Ed Pastor (D), but his relationship with Teran while she guided the Arizona party during his 2022 run for Senate makes her his candidate of choice.
The Phoenix anchored 3rd District is heavily Democratic with a D+44 rating from the FiveThirtyEight data organization. Therefore, Rep. Gallego’s successor will be decided in the Aug. 6, 2024, Democratic primary, thus making Sen. Kelly’s endorsement valuable.